Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Hospital of Venerable Priests

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It was founded more than three centuries ago by Canon Justin de Neve to shelter and care for elderly and handicapped clergymen. At the end of the seventeenth century, the hospital was built by the architects Juan Domínguez and Leonardo de Figueroa, on the site given by the Duke of Veragua and thanks to generous donations from the nobility, the clergy and social institutions such as guilds and confraternities. 

The famous Velázquez Centre, an institution for the promotion of the Sevillian painter Diego de Silva y Velázquez, is located therein. Famous authors of the Sevillian Baroque accompany him, such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Juan Martínez Montañés and Pedro Roldán. 

The rooms at the Hospital de los Venerables are arranged around its courtyards. The central courtyard is like the traditional courtyards of Seville. With limestone and red tones -a mixture of lime and adobe- and planted with orange trees, it houses a very particular fountain in the centre.

The site on which the Hospital de Los Venerables is built was previously occupied by the Doña Elvira theatrical courtyard, sponsored by the Counts of Gelves for popular entertainment during the 16th and 17th centuries. Nowadays, it is an ideal place for theatre events and musical shows.

The church was built at the end of the 17th century, with the help of painters such as Murillo and Valdés Leal and sculptors such as Pedro Roldán. The frescoes on the vaults and the dome must be highlighted. They were made with a remarkable pictorial resource: trompe l'oeil. Beautiful scenes garnish the walls of the church, mixing reality and fiction. They were designed by Juan de Valdés Leal, but made by his son Lucas Valdés.

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